Signs, Safety Plans & Help: Combatting Domestic Violence in Texas

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what part of the state you live in, your race, educational background, or any other characteristic about you or your family. The reality is that domestic violence is a factor that in packs many families across our state. There is no way for you to be able to escape from this reality. There is not a single characteristic that places someone from being immune to the scourge of domestic violence. To lessen the stigma and problems associated with domestic violence, you can have a plan in place that would eliminate many of the most significant risks a person can face regarding domestic violence.

Part of that plan for you and your family may be to pursue a divorce. For many people outside, divorcing an abusive spouse would appear to be an easy decision to make. File the divorce and get it done. Hire an attorney and do what you have to do to move on from this stage of your life. Doesn’t that sound easy? Well, as anyone who has gone through domestic violence will tell you, the answers to those questions are not so easy. The shroud of domestic violence can hang over your family to the extent of deciding to do something like getting a divorce.

You will likely have safety concerns regarding yourself and your children regarding getting in divorce while also going through difficult circumstances regarding domestic violence. If you have been physically harmed by your spouse or are concerned about your children suffering physically, you probably would not be all that concerned with going through the legal process to get a divorce. Instead, you are probably much more concerned with your day-to-day safety than any legal process. Even one as important as getting a divorce from an abusive spouse can seem to fall by the wayside end times like these.

Of course, there may be legitimate financial concerns to this equation, as well. If you depend on your abusive spouse for income and survival from a financial perspective, you probably are not eager to divorce them. This reality of your life may require that you seek your revenue for free assistance to remove yourself from a toxic and dangerous marriage. This can be an incredibly high hurdle to clear both from a psychological and financial perspective.

Another factor that may be holding you back from moving on from your abusive spouse is a lack of knowledge about divorce’s legal processes. For instance, you may have a vague understanding of what it means to get a divorce in Texas but have no working knowledge of how to move forward. Do you have to hire an attorney? What are the requirements to get a divorce in Texas as far as the length of a case? Are there other ways to separate from your spouse legally that don’t require ending the marriage? These are the relevant questions that many people in your position have. However, having questions and not seeking answers does not make much sense. Instead, it would help if you moved forward with a certain degree of knowledge about the divorce process to feel more comfortable making a decision no matter which way you would like to go with the potential case.

In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to discuss what it means to get a divorce while you are also concerned with your safety daily. While a single blog post cannot offer you all the answers you need in preparation for a divorce case, you can receive some guidance regarding what resources are available to you and what steps you need to put into action to be as prepared as possible to keep yourself safe. You can read this information and then figure out a plan on your own with your family and support group.

What sort of safety planning is in place for your family?

One of the scarier and downright frustrating aspects of becoming a victim of domestic violence is what happens after domestic violence occurs for the first time. When I talk about putting a safety plan for your family, you need to consider what steps you can replicate in your daily life to make sure that your family is as safe from harm as possible. You should not drift through your days and expect luck, fate, or concerned neighbors to be able to protect you from damage. Instead, you need to have a plan and act on it if your well-being is threatened.

However, I have unfortunately seen in many families where domestic violence is a concern. Some people will Withstand a great deal of abuse and harm from their spouse but will not take the next step to create a plan to protect themselves or their family? Again, there may be many reasons why this is the case. I don’t mention this for us to go through each possible explanation of why a safety plan is not created. Still, It is relevant for us to understand that safety planning is essential for escaping current risky circumstances and avoiding potential problems in the future.

Even if you do not have a family or support system that you are integrated with, there are almost always Port groups and shelters available to you. Depending on your area, there may be multiple organizations available to assist you or relatively few. However, you should perform the necessary research to determine what are Resources are available to you. If he belonged to a church, civic organization, or went to a primary care physician, then these types of resources are maybe even closer than you would have thought. When you get to the point where you feel like you’re ready to leave your home and seek a divorce, then you will need to think ahead due to ongoing concerns over safety for you and your children.

One of the first things that I have seen people do to prepare for eventually leaving home and starting the process geared towards a divorce is 2 include various items in a suitcase or overnight bags such as clothing, car keys, medication, cash, and any items that may be important for your children. This bag should be ready to go at a moment’s notice but should be kept someplace out of the way where your spouse would not think to check. You want to avoid a circumstance where your spouse finds your bag and becomes upset at what it could be about.

Next, you’ll need to consider where you will stay if you leave your home. It would not be a good idea for you 2 leave home without a plan of where you will stay. Even the most sympathetic friends and family may have a problem with you showing up unannounced at their doorstep at a random time with your children. To avoid a situation like this, you can share as much of your circumstances with your friends and family as possible. Bear in mind that many people in your life are probably ready to provide you with shelter and a place to stay on a short-term basis. However, sometimes the most challenging part of that discussion is making yourself available to them by sharing information about your life. Becoming vulnerable in this way will be difficult for many people, but doing so can be the first step towards removing yourself and your family from a dangerous circumstance.

Bear in mind that you should pick a place to stay based on the likelihood of your spouse not determining your whereabouts quickly. While your employment location or your children’s school cannot be changed, head above its notice; your schedule as far as grocery shopping, recreation, and where you are staying with your children temporarily does not have to be known by your Co-parent. Instead, we should keep its information away from your spouse so that there is no risk of residual harm once you leave the house.

Another part of this discussion that I think is very important is that staying off of social media during this stage of your life can be very important—oh, continuing to post on your social media even while fresh out of your family home can be a big mistake. Number one, you could be inadvertently sharing information about your and your children’s whereabouts such that your abusive spouse could find out where you are. Another aspect of this discussion would be that information you post online can be potentially used against you in the form of evidence in a hearing or trial by your spouse. And you don’t want to open yourself up to that kind of liability in the future.

I am trying to get at here that you and your children can have a lot to lose and virtually nothing to gain by posting on social media during this time of your life. Deleting any social media profiles immediately after leaving an abusive marriage may be for the best. Since there will not have been a legal case filed at this point, there will be no court order or standing order from a county that requires you to maintain your social media profiles in full until the end of the case.

Finally, I would also recommend changing any passwords on your email, social media, or other accounts. I have known spouses to have shared email accounts and even shared social media accounts. If this describes you and your spouse, you should carefully consider your options to protect your virtual identity. The last thing you want is for your spells to be able to log into your email simply by bringing up a website on the home computer. Never allow a computer to save your password automatically.

Additionally, it would help if you considered changing passwords whenever possible and on a specific rotating basis. For example, you could decide that you would change any passwords that could team private information once a month. This way, the odds of yourself being able to access these websites is meager.

What is your divorce going to look like? This is a question that everyone going through a divorce once the answer is whether family violence or domestic violence is a part of the case. Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to learn that it is not always possible to predict with any degree of accuracy what a divorce case will look like once you file your original divorce petition.

The reality is that there are so many ongoing circumstances in your family’s life that it will be tough for me to sit here and try to predict exactly what you and your family will go through, especially when I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding your case. Instead, what I can tell you is that you have an opportunity to take a step to improve the day-to-day and long-term safety of you and your family by getting a divorce. Well, I cannot predict anything with 100% accuracy of what your divorce will look like; here are some rational thoughts I have regarding what you can expect from a divorce case and your spouse.

Do not expect that your spouse will treat you right or act professionally once you file for divorce. I would go so far as saying that your spouse will likely B come upset or even enraged by your filing for divorce. Remember that one of the critical parts of Y8 domestic abusers does what they do is to exert some degree of control over you. A divorce not only means that you are seeking custody of your own life but that you are no longer under the thumb of your abusive spouse. This is a double whammy that could greatly upset your spouse. Understanding this and their motivation at the beginning of a case couldn’t provide you with some degree of certainty or planning as you enter into a divorce in Texas.

Next, you should expect to receive some threats or language regarding violence from your spouse. This goes back to what we talked about earlier and keeping your location as close to his secret as possible. Once your Co-parent and spouse are those you are, you should expect them to attempt to harass and threaten you into submission. However, if you can keep your whereabouts hidden and lean on a support system, you are more likely to make it through a divorce and come out the other side in a better position.

Next, come up, if your spouse is ordered to pay you temporary spousal support or child support during your divorce, then you should expect that they will not live up to their end of the bargain. Your Co-parent may become extremely upset at the idea of having to support you after you left their home. However, you must understand that even if you receive support from your spouse, you will ultimately need to provide for yourself and your family. This may mean going back to completing a previously unfinished degree or finding work that pays better than what you currently earn. I would tell you that it is not wise to rely upon support from and a strange spouse after your divorce has begun.

Finally, finding an experienced family law attorney to assist you in your divorce needs may be a great equalizer for you and your family. Your spouse may be relying upon the assumption that you will be unprepared and downright scared to move on from hey more her. Having an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process, point you towards resources and generally ensure that you are cared for may provide you with just the self-confidence you need to act decisively and negotiate aggressively.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.

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